As climate change threatens to irreparably change important aspects of our planet’s habitat, more and more people are becoming committed to environmental conservation. A great way to contribute to this cause is through business practices designed to support positive environmental change. However, it’s not always clear how to arrive at these practices. A look at the career of Paul Alan Smith, a socially conscious professional working in the entertainment industry, can help illuminate this idea. Read on for our overview of his work and some sound business practices that can help our planet’s wellbeing.
Recycling is one of the first things that comes to mind when many people think of ways to help the environment. While this recognition is a positive first step, it’s certainly only a piece of the puzzle. While general awareness of recycling is high, implementation of recycling programs can be low in many companies. For business owners or employees, emphasizing awareness is key here. That’s because many people still don’t know exactly what can be recycled and how materials need to be prepared in order to be recycled properly. This can also extend to making sure recycling receptacles are prominently displayed for easy access.
Work by Paul Alan Smith helps to illustrate how a single employee can make a positive change in this area and improve recycling practices company wide. When he was working at a talent agency in the 1980s, he set his mind towards implementing a recycling program at his company. At that time, such programs weren’t particularly widespread, and he realized it would have been a process to get such a program approved by those above him at the company. To get around this, he searched for ways to make the program economically beneficial to the company so that there was no net cost to its implementation. With this legwork, he was able to get the program started without the need for financial approval.
Properly manage chemicals
Another issue of importance for those focusing on environmental issues is the introduction of harmful chemicals into the planet’s ecosystems. Unbeknownst to many employees, quite a few of the items used in a typical office environment can have a negative environmental impact if not properly handled and disposed of. This can include batteries, cleaning products, printer ink, and much more. In this regard, education is again key. Creating awareness of how these products can be harmful to the environment and how they should be disposed of can greatly contribute to helping a workplace improve its ecological impact.
The importance of this type of education and awareness is again something that has been a theme throughout the entertainment professional’s life. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the politically turbulent ‘60s and ‘70s gave him a close look at the power that comes from spreading awareness about important causes. He’s carried this outlook through to his professional career and is often found spreading the word on practices that can best benefit the environment and other issues about which he cares deeply.
How we get to and from work can have a huge impact on our climate impact. This is partly due to the nature of climate change, which is largely fueled by greenhouse gasses that enter our atmosphere and contribute to warming temperatures across the planet. Many forms of transportation, such as automobiles, emit these gasses. Therefore, policies put in place by businesses to encourage employees to minimize their use of automobiles can make a huge impact on the environmental impact of a collective workplace.
Here again, we can look to work by the entertainment professional to better understand how such policies can be implemented. In the pursuit of trying to minimize the greenhouse gas emissions of past workplaces, he’s been known to propose and help implement programs that incentivize alternative forms of transportation. Examples of this have been policies that reimburse employees who ride public transportation or utilize a bike to get to work. Awareness can also be raised about such programs by singling out a specific day of the week where employees are encouraged to engage in these practices. Organizing carpools is another way in which the net impact of an office can be reduced while still allowing employees to travel to work via automobile.
Another large contributor to climate change is the way in which many businesses power their workplace. Fossil fuel energy sources, such as oil and coal, result in large amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the environment. To help reduce levels of this harmful greenhouse gas, many businesses are looking to alternative fuel sources that do not produce gaseous emissions. One key area to consider here is solar power. This can be a popular choice for small businesses since solar panels can often be installed onsite, negating the need to search for a larger infrastructure providing green energy.
The collective work of Paul Alan Smith is again a helpful guide for employees or business owners seeking to implement this type of change in the workplace. Though transitioning to a new energy source may seem like a daunting task, like other issues the entertainment professional has tackled, the key here is awareness. Oftentimes, just the awareness of how much a switch can benefit a company’s environmental impact is enough to create positive change. An understanding of government programs or other discount opportunities can also help to illustrate how such a switch can even make financial sense. Education of this type can be beneficial for implementing a wide range of environmentally-sound policies.
While the state of the planet’s environment is widely considered to be an issue of paramount importance, it is not always clear how small groups or individuals can help make an impact in this area through their place of business. Looking to the above guide can be a first step in this pursuit, since it illustrates areas that can be vastly improved in many workplaces. Looking to the career of Paul Alan Smith is also a helpful guide in this space, as he has made it a focus of his work across many different companies. Those passionate about these ideas will find his work, as well as further exploration of the above concepts, to be a key part of turning their aspirations into reality.